Boone County Fair prepares for a week of heat

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STURGEON – Despite the high temperatures, members of the Boone County Fair Board and volunteers prepared for the annual Boone County Fair on Tuesday.

The fair began in 1835 and is the first county fair held west of the Mississippi and first in the Louisiana Territory.

In previous years, the fair was held in Columbia but was moved to Sturgeon last year.

The heat is not unfamiliar to fair-goers, but fair board President Jeff Cook said preparing for the heat is no easy task.

“Well it’s hard to prepare for the heat,” he said. “You think you try to but, you know, it’s just hot and you just do the best you can.”

Cook said the carnival does prepare the rides when it gets too hot.

“When we open in the evening,” he said. “If the rides are too hot for the kids to hang on to or sit in the rides, they’ll cancel the opening that evening until a later time.”

Cook said Boone County Fire Protection District and the Boone County Sheriff’s Department would be there at the event to help those who attend.

Boone County Fire will have an incident commander every night the fair is operational. They will also have a command vehicle to house people that need a place to cool off and for radio communications.

Gale Blomenkamp, the assistant chief at the Boone County Fire Protection District, said many people that attend these kinds of events underestimate the heat.

“Where we see issues are the old and the very young,” he said. “When they’re out in this heat and they’re not used to it and they’re not expecting it to be as hot as it is.”

Blomenkamp said those attending should prepare and hydrate. He also said clothing attire will help in the heat.

“Some other things you can do is wear light clothing,” he said. “Light-colored clothing will reflect the sunlight so that can help you get cooler.”

Fair gates open on at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and closes at around 10 p.m. The fair will also open on Saturday at noon. Tickets are $10 at the gate Tuesday through Thursday (children six and under are free) and are $15 on Friday and Saturday.